Wesley Botton

By Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist


Is Covid really the only reason for cancelling the Two Oceans?

The organisers have treated road runners like a bunch of three-year-olds who can't pick up a fib.


At the age of four, as part of our cognitive development, human beings learn something very important.

We discover that the thoughts in our minds are not the same as the thoughts in the minds of others. Essentially, we learn to lie.

It’s an important part of our growth, but we have to spend the rest of our lives juggling between determining how much of the information we receive from others is honest, and how much of it is not.

The problem is that it’s easy to lie, and when we find an acceptable excuse, it becomes even easier.

Covid, for all the trouble it has caused, has become one of those excuses.

“I can’t (fill in the gap with pre-planned agreement). Cough, cough. I think I have the virus.”

Fair enough. We all take advantage.

But we also learn not to believe it every time we hear the same excuse.

The cancellation of the Two Oceans ultra-marathon this week was hardly a surprise, but it just seemed too easy.

Granted, government restrictions at this stage will not allow for the race to be held.

Things can change over the next two months, however, and while qualifying for the 56km race poses all sorts of challenges under the circumstances, the hugely popular Two Oceans half-marathon does not.

Organisers still had time to put an event together at short notice, even if they had to reduce the numbers or change the traditional format.

Other races are in a similar boat, and while it seems likely that virtual events will again be the norm this year, Two Oceans seemed too quick to just let it go, which is disappointing for one of the most popular mass sports events in the country.

Various other challenges, including securing major sponsors and dealing with apparent administrative battles, may also have played a role in the race being called off.

Perhaps it was just easier to cancel the event and give themselves another year to pull themselves together.

We’ll never know because the thoughts in their heads are not the same as the thoughts in ours.

Maybe they are telling the truth and Covid is just creating too many problems in the build-up to the event, but then they could do a better job of explaining themselves, rather than simply pointing to the virus.

They haven’t even tried to explain what options they considered before scratching the whole event.

Instead, they have treated road runners like a bunch of three-year-olds who can’t pick up a fib.

If anything, it’s an indication of how much trouble the race is in, Covid or not.

Wesley Botton

Wesley Botton.

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